The Discovery School embraces the benefits that outdoor learning experiences can have on our children. It can provide children with hands-on experiences in nature and enhances their learning through using their senses. In addition, regular exposure to nature can improve a child’s well-being by decreasing stress and anxiety as well as helping to elevate mood and emotions. Furthermore, the outdoor environment can naturally inspire children to become more physically active and motivate them to work together in groups which can develop their social skills.
We believe outdoor learning can enhance a child’s well-being which in turn makes them healthier, happier individuals who tend to do better academically. At the Discovery School, not only do we have the use of the school playgrounds and field to experience outdoor learning, but also Forest Schools, the school allotment, Discovery Walk and Eco-Club.
Forest school is inclusive to all children. Through regular sessions of hands-on learning experiences in a natural environment, it enables children to develop physically, emotionally and creatively as well as improve their well-being, self-confidence and self-esteem.
Currently we offer the provision of Forest School to children in EYFS through an external provider. However, we are currently training a member of staff to become a Forest School Practitioner who will then be able to gradually increase the provision across the school.
Have a look at this video to some of the benefits of Forest School
For further information about the history and ethos of Forest School, please click here.
Discovery Walk is a wonderful area within the school grounds which provides a class of 30 children invaluable outdoor learning experiences. It is a sustainable outdoor classroom with unlimited learning opportunities. You can make wonderful ‘meals’ or potions in the mud kitchen, or create a musical concert to perform to your friends with the upcycled pots and pans instruments. Maybe you just want to relax with your friends and grow some edible crops in the tractor tyres or become Bear Grylls and make your own shelter. The bug hotels, bird and animal homes encourage a variety of flora and fauna which also supports scientific learning as well as inspiration for creative lessons such as art or poetry.
Another opportunity for an outdoor learning experience is the Discovery School allotment. We have a small orchard area, soft fruits such as strawberries and currants and raised beds for each year group where we use a crop rotation system. This helps create a sustainable environment using the crops to replenish the soil with nutrients or aerate to improve soil texture. In addition, the crop rotation ensures that each year group gets to grow a variety of crops. We continue the ethos of sustainability by harvesting rainwater in water butts to water the plants, upcycle single use plastic for seed trays and plant containers and compost the compostable waste.
To encourage use of the allotment, the Eco-Club launched 'The Great Sunflower Race'. Each class were given sunflower seeds, soil, pots, labels and instructions and the race is on... There are some close contenders at the moment so the children need to make sure that they keep their plants watered and supported. Who will be the winner?
We are well into the growing session and have a selection of crops enjoying the much needed rain. At the moment there are; sweet peas, chickpeas, lettuce, purple basil, chives, strawberries to name but a few, as well as the sunflowers of course.
Children across the school have enjoyed helping at the allotment with sowing, planting, weeding and watering. Year 6 are showing great dedication and perseverance by maintaining their raised beds throughout the year and growing difference crops for their World War II topic.
Welcome to the Discovery School Eco-Club. We meet every Thursday after school and together we learn how to help the environment and to make it a better place.
The Eco-Club is linked to the nationwide scheme Eco-Schools. Our main aim is to get the green flag and to be recognised as an Eco-School. There are nine different topics which we need to focus on. These are; litter, waste, energy, water, biodiversity, school grounds, transport, global citizenship and healthy living.
Congratulations to The Discovery School for achieving the Silver Eco-School Award!
The Eco-Club worked hard on meeting the criteria for the Silver Award and are now planning ways to achieve the Green Flag. They have thought of ideas to improve the school linked to the three topics; Waste, School Grounds and Biodiversity. You can help by supporting their ideas.
So keep a look out for dates, posters and messages of ways you can help us achieve the Green Flag.
1st - 5th March - Waste Week
20th March - Great Big School Clean
22nd March - World Water Day
21st - 25th May - Walk to school week
How to encourage biodiversity in your garden…
- Provide food for birds. You can grow plants that provide food and/or, buy or make fat balls.
- Make a log pile or bug hotel.
- Grow plants that are bee and insect friendly.
- Have a pond or water feature.
- Allow a patch of grass to grow longer or sow a wild flower meadow.
Look at the links below for more information...
Visit the RHS website to find useful information for encouraging wildlife into your garden.
Visit the Gardener's World website to find information on how to make your own fat balls.